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January 18, 2014

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license

Legally, you might need to get a business license
Did you just get your Notary Commission? Good for you! Do you want to start a business doing notarizations? unlikely unless you have gotten huge without a business license. However, there is a small chance that someone else might register that business name somewhere in your state or county and sue you for damages. After all, you were Legally, you might need to get a business license. But, most notaries don’t get one until they want to use a particular business name. Some even advertise in the yellow pages without having a registered business name. What is the risk in not doing so? Will the state government come crashing down on you? That is using THEIR business name and they could claim to have lost money!

Changing or removing your business name
The problem is that once you put your business name in print on the internet or in printed advertising, you might find it very difficult to get change it or remove it. Google keeps a cache of old pages for months as well, so that information you posted on the internet could haunt you long after you remove it!

Notary Business names that change every month?
We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Each time it is a different variation. In October it is MG Notary Service, and then it changes to MG Properties, and then in December it is Mary’s Notary & Apostille. Which one is it? Notaries cannot change their personal or business name on our site without my intervention. But, when I see that they are changing their business name every month, I begin to think that “perhaps” their business name is not really registered, and that they don’t have business licenses. Hmmm. Once I asked someone to send me proof of their business license and they sent me a copy of a newspaper ad they had used to publish their business name. The text was different sizes and on different lines, and I couldn’t tell which part of the name was commentary and which part was the name on their business license. Good God!

Be safe and get registered
It is better to think long and hard about what your business name should be. Then, register your business name, and get a company bank account. Then you can advertise, and do business as a DBA without “as much” risk of being sued due to your business name. There can always be some clown who still wants to make trouble with you who has that same business name registered in another county, but if you are playing by the rules, it will be harder for someone to question the legitimacy of your business name and probably less likely that they can sue you for “business name infringement”. Your name on your notary commission is registered, why shouldn’t your business name as well?

(1) Did you just get your notary commission? Good! You need to get a business license now.
(2) Once your business name is registered & in print, it is not easy to change it. Think it over first.
(3) We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Doesn’t sound very legal.
(4) You might be held liable for “business name infringement” if you don’t register your biz name.

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Stealing a business name



  1. The best advice is to grow your business first, When it is working, then do all the official stuff.

    Comment by alan — January 24, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

  2. A Louisiana notary does not need an occupational license under Louisiana Attorney General Opinion 95-0478

    Comment by Charles Tolliver II — September 6, 2014 @ 1:17 am

  3. You always make Mountains out of mole hills. Take a chill pill and relax.

    Comment by Claudia Capizzo — January 31, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

  4. I surely hope that the owner of 123Notary is not a Notary themselves. I do believe that the majority of states do not allow for Notaries to provide legal advice. Have you been admitted to your state’s bar to be providing such legal advice?

    Comment by Javier Silva — July 2, 2016 @ 10:10 pm

  5. Javier Silva committed a pronoun-antecedent disagreement.

    Comment by Clifton Palmer McLendon — April 22, 2017 @ 6:29 pm

  6. Good information. Thanks.HAMMAD Kirk

    Comment by J. Lippert — July 27, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

  7. I recently past my notary exam. New kid on the block, right? So, I am trying to decide when to sign up for a business name? One advice recommend to at least get established first, then apply for your business. That advise sounds reasonable to me. I’m thinking at least create a little revenue before applying. Is that the right route?

    Comment by JoyAnn — June 30, 2019 @ 12:51 am

  8. Sounds good. Only problem is the DBA is the name we have to sign and have on the stamp. Can you get both or register a sub company under the DBA?

    Comment by Andito Johnson — January 29, 2021 @ 1:24 am

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